There is a new man at the helm of one of Wellingborough’s busiest pubs, which was bought by the local council earlier this year.
Sanjai Tailor, who already runs the Kingfisher pub in High Street, has recently taken on Rafferty’s, on the corner of Market Street and Gloucester Place.
He is leasing the pub from Wellingborough Council.
The local authority bought the pub for £183,000 after the pub chain which previously owned it went into administration.
Mr Tailor said: “The council purchased the bar. I have leased it off the council and I am the licence holder.
“The plan is to put a re-fit together and improve on the success that it’s already had.
“I’d like to work with other licensees to provide a fun and safe drinking environment for the town.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had from customers.”
The bar is open until 4am on Friday and Saturdays. Mr Tailor said he also hopes to apply for a pavement licence to enable patrons to drink outside.
Cllr Paul Bell, leader of the council, said: “Since purchasing the building, the council has carried out some repairs and compliance work so we could be in a position to hand over the lease and get the business thriving again.
“We had a number of people interested in the lease and Mr Tailor, an experienced Wellingborough publican, was successful.
“It’s an exciting new start for Rafferty’s and we’re confident that the business will succeed. As well as being a central part of the town’s night time economy, Rafferty’s is an important strategic acquisition for the council.
“It was paid for out of our capital funds, which we’re not allowed by law to use for running council services, and the return we get on that investment in rental income is significantly more than if the money had stayed in the bank.”
Mr Tailor, who is also a member of the town’s Pub Watch scheme, welcomed recent news from Northamptonshire Police that the cells at Wellingborough Police Station would soon be opening on Saturday nights.
He said: “This will help us because at the moment it’s a two-hour round trip to Northampton and it’s taking officers off the street.
“But the crime figures are down and we have all been joining together to make sure it’s a safe town as that encourages people to stay local.”